Almanac

News - August 21, 2013

Election: Woodside school board race is on

• Portola Valley board to appoint new members.

by Renee Batti

There will be four names on the Nov. 5 ballot in the race for three seats on the Woodside Elementary School District board, while the neighboring Portola Valley School District will avoid a race for its three open by appointing the only three parents who filed candidate papers.

Both districts extended the filing period to Aug. 14 when one incumbent on each board chose not to run for another term: Bill Youstra in the Portola Valley district, and Bettina Pike in Woodside.

The candidates in the Woodside race are incumbents Marc Tarpenning and current board president Wendy Warren Roth (Crandall). The challengers are Claire Pollioni and Robert Hooper.

In the Portola Valley district, Superintendent Lisa Gonzales said that the school board will avoid the cost of an election by appointing the three residents who filed papers: appointed incumbents Caitha Ambler and Karen Tate, and parent Timothy McAdam.

Woodside school board

Ms. Pollioni has four children in the district's only school, in grades ranging from kindergarten to sixth. She has served on the school's PTA board for several years, and said that when she learned an incumbent would not seek re-election, she jumped at "a great opportunity to become more involved."

Ms. Pollioni said she has attended few school board meetings in the past because of scheduling conflicts. She said she has "a lot of confidence in our current administration and current board members, and I want to continue the positive work, and contribute to it."

Mr. Hooper said he wants to "continue the leadership policies that the current board has followed to make a vibrant and productive educational atmosphere." But he said one area he'd like to see improved is teacher communications with parents.

He isn't a regular attendee of board meetings, he said in an email, "but that is another reason why I am running. ... The board must schedule all meetings at times convenient for busy parents and community members." With meetings now held in mid-afternoon, it's "not easy for working parents and community members to attend."

Mr. Hooper has taught at many grade levels in public schools, he said. He has a son who will begin sixth grade at Woodside School this month and a daughter who has just graduated and is entering high school.

Mr. Tarpenning, an entrepreneur, engineer, and businessman, was elected to the board in 2009. Ms. Warren Roth was an active member of the Woodside School Foundation for nine years and a member of various other education and community boards before her election to the board in 2009.

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